James Stanier

SVP Engineering at Brandwatch


The path to managing managers
Friday 15:00 - 15:45
management, managing managers, director of engineering, vp engineering, cto

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Many engineering managers dream of continuing up the org chart and getting one of those fancy job titles like Director of Engineering, VP Engineering, or even CTO. But what sort of skills do you need on this path, and how do you make it happen? In this talk, we'll look at this journey in more detail and help you understand what skills you need so you can begin practicing them right away. We'll study how your output, level of abstraction, and day-to-day activities should change so that you're not meddling and micromanaging. We'll also consider the ugly parts: are you at risk of losing your technical skills? Are you making yourself redundant? Can you ever go back? Join us in a climb up the org chart as we survey the land around us.


Dr. James Stanier (@jstanier) is SVP Engineering at Brandwatch, and the author of “Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager”, published by Pragmatic Programmers in 2020. He mostly spends his time leading the Applications division at Brandwatch, which involves a lot of video calls and colourful spreadsheets, and these will probably only grow in number now that the company has been acquired as of March 2021. He also runs theengineeringmanager.com and has a second book in the works, due early next year. When not at work, James can often be found running, occasionally at an acceptable speed.